MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Pro Bowl has become so diluted by player withdrawals, Super Bowl qualifiers and minimal effort that the NFL considered pulling the plug on it.
The future of the annual all-star game will be assessed again this spring, based partly on how Sunday's game turns out, and in the event of a cancellation it's a safe bet that Adrian Peterson won't be the reason. Some of his Minnesota Vikings teammates there this week also bring a perspective that goes beyond the simple pleasure of a free midwinter trip to Hawaii.
Fullback Jerome Felton is a first-time selection. Tight end Kyle Rudolph, an injury replacement pick along with linebacker Chad Greenway, is also a Pro Bowl rookie. Defensive end Jared Allen wanted to delay surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder until after the game. Kicker Blair Walsh was so appreciative of the honor he paid for long snapper Cullen Loeffler to join him for the week.